That’s all it takes. If not a second, maybe half a second, and your world uproots. Whether a loss, illness or major catastrophic life event, I do not know if preparation helps. Maybe. One thing I am certain of is a life crisis of any kind can shatter the most glued together people. The good news is, the broken pieces do and can mend…but, I think most people who have experienced an ill-fated curve ball in their life understand, with time, that the scars, the glue marks, will never completely fade.
When my world shattered in October 2010, I can say, more than two years later, the crises did not define me, but they did refine my life forever. Although the idea of this “WTF” blog came to me sometime during that first critical year, I was too debilitated and too unfocused to sit in the pain and write. The bad news is that I am still in the thick of some overpowering situations, the crisis continues, if you will, but the good news is—prompted by two of my dearest friends who have lost sons, the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, incident and my co-worker and friend Aileen O’Sullivan and her fight against breast cancer—the time is ripe to share my faith-filled experiences that I hope give a smidgen of light on those days that seem that the day cannot break through the darkness of night.
I do not know if crisis counselors and the like necessarily qualify to help others with their own personal experience clout, but I do believe that like-minded people bond organically—in a natural, spiritual way.
So here is my story in a nutshell. I pulled in the driveway one night after teaching a writer’s workshop. My adrenaline plummeted when, virtually, in the next 24 hours, I discovered that my then husband, the man I had been with for 21 years, had allowed the emotional pain in his own life to lead him to act on his most primeval nature. Unbeknownst to me, he had been living a double life for years, which had nipped him in the bud for the last number of months. My two teenage kids and I suffered the consequences. We were left abandoned and on the verge of homelessness and bankruptcy. To top everything off, facing my fifth decade in life, for years I had worked feverishly to carve out a freelance writing career and was suddenly a “displaced” homemaker. In other words, I was, certainly in the world’s eyes, old and unemployed. Though all this came as a shock to me, something, at least on an unconscious level, was amiss. I was…to find out later, fifty pounds overweight–nearly as much as I was when I was pregnant.
The test of my faith gets better. In November of 2010, one of my cats, we have three, had dislocated a leg. Weeks later, my neighbor’s German shepherd viciously attacked my beloved dog. By New Year’s day of 2011, I realized that a number of friends, whom I thought were friends, dropped off the radar. What a way to start the year! (The ones who remained have figuratively become my blood relatives!) On January 8, 2011, my dear friend’s son who happened to be my son’s best friend and like my own son was involved in an off-road vehicle accident that killed him. At this point, my son, meanwhile, will never be the same; my daughter, with her own crosses, has certainly, too, traveled through a few dark nights of the soul in these past two years.
And instead of focusing on all the sensationalism in my life, which can easily bring me to a victim status, I want to focus on being a victor, and if I have faith, no matter what happens down the pike, that’s all I need. Faith in my God has carried me through. Faith in my spirituality has carried me through. Faith in my religion has carried me through.
For me, thanks to my faith, it has been a resurrection. I can truly say that I look better, feel better and think better than I ever have in my life; which, of course, is easy to admit now. I hope the upcoming WTF blogs will help and inspire you to move through this critical point in your life. That is my mission. If I can give a wee bit of hope to just one person, my mission is complete.
So with that said, welcome to a new year and a totally revamped blog, (which replaces my former blog Backyard Therapy) with the all new blog: WTF (Where’s the Faith?) …a critical and crystallized vehicle of expression for a very niche audience…faith-filled and spiritual inspiration for people living through personal crisis and loss…a group that I am most proud to identify with.
Stay tuned!…until next time…faith forward!